Antibody Response to Schistosoma Mansoni Adult Worm Cysteine Proteinases in Infected Individuals

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  • Baylor College of Medicine, State University of Leiden, Houston, Texas, The Netherlands

Antigens of the Schistosoma mansoni digestive tract are recognized early in the infective process. Two immunogenic components of the excretory/secretory products are proteolytic enzymes that degrade host hemoglobin in the lumen of the parasite gut. These enzymes, CP1 and CP2, belong to the class of cysteine proteinases. In this study, a preparation containing both proteinases has been used to detect proteinase antibodies in the sera of individuals living in Burundi. Of 133 individuals tested, 92% were excreting schistosome eggs. All patients with documented infections had positive anti-proteinase IgG titers (mean = 1:614), while 82% had positive IgM titers (mean = 1:267). Six weeks following praziquantel treatment, patients were assessed for egg excretion and antibody titer. Anti-proteinase IgG titers were significantly lower (mean = 1:259) than pre-treatment titers. Patients who were infected with S. japonicum or S. haematobium typically showed a cross-reactive IgG response. Patients from non-endemic regions yielded negative titers, and those with non-trematode parasites were negative (79%) or weakly positive. S. mansoni cysteine proteinases may be used for the detection of schistosome infections.